Measles cancels U.S.P. graduation

The University of the South Pacific (U.S.P.) has cancelled its 2019 graduation ceremony, and invited Alafua Campus students to join the Fiji Laucala Campus ceremony next March, or September.

While the country attempts to stem the flow of measles, large gatherings are on hold, especially for young children who are especially vulnerable to the disease. 

In a statement, Campus Director and Associate Professor, Joeli Veitayaki, said the cancelation is “per the directive from the Government of Samoa.

“We realize as a University that this will come as a disappointment to our graduands, their families and supporters but it is important that we all do our part in preventing the further spread of this disease.

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“We note that some regional students may have already incurred financial costs because they or their family members have booked flights for graduation, but this cannot be helped due to this national emergency in Samoa.”

Alafua Campus students can have their qualifications formally granted at the Tongan graduation ceremony on the December 13 or attend the Laucala ceremony in either March or September 2020.

Certificates will also be couriered to Alafua Campus.

U.S.P joins the National University of Samoa who cancelled Foundation Year Graduation and postponed the Technical and Vocational Education and Training graduation until April 2020. 

Primary and secondary schools have been asked to cancel prize giving and graduation, but not all schools are complying.

St. Joseph’s Primary School in Leauva’a held their prize-giving on Tuesday. Principal Sister Lavalea Ielenimo said while she was aware Government had asked schools not to hold large gatherings, she felt confident the school was safe.

“By the time they announced the ban on graduations and prize giving we had already finished our exams and the preparations for today were well underway so we decided to continue with it,” Sr. Lavalea said. 

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